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Career breakdown of a Gemologist: Requirements and salary revealed

Gemologist Job Review

Gemologists look at gemstones, describe them, and sign off on their quality and characteristics. After looking at gemstones or finished pieces of jewelry with microscopes, computers, and other grading tools, they write reports that say the items are of a certain quality. Most gemologists have finished the Gemological Institute of America’s Graduate Gemologist program.

Education requirements

Most jewelers and people who work with precious stones and metals have a high school diploma, but many trade schools offer classes for people who want to learn more. Course topics can include an introduction to gems and metals, resizing, repair, and computer-aided design (CAD). Programs range from 3 months to 1 year, and many teach students how to design cast, set, and polish jewelry and gems.

They also know how to use and take care of a jeweler’s tools and equipment. Employers may be more interested in these graduates because they need less training on the job. The Gemological Institute of America is where a lot of gemologists get their degrees. People who want to get into trade programs usually need to have a high school diploma or an equivalent.

Training requirements

Most jewelers and people who work with precious stones and metals have a high school diploma, but many trade schools offer classes for people who want to learn more. Course topics can include an introduction to gems and metals, resizing, repair, and computer-aided design (CAD). Programs range from 3 months to 1 year, and many teach students how to design, cast, set, and polish jewelry and gems, as well as how to use and take care of a jeweler’s tools and equipment. Employers may be more interested in these graduates because they need less training on the job. The Gemological Institute of America is where a lot of gemologists get their degrees. People who want to get into trade programs usually need to have a high school diploma or an equivalent.

Job Outlook

The projected percent change in employment from 2016 to 2026: –3% (Decline)
(The average growth rate for all occupations is 7 percent.)

Employment opportunities

Some jewelers move up in the manufacturing field to jobs like master jeweler or head jeweler. Managers can come from the ranks of jewelers who work in stores or repair shops.

How much do Jewelers and Workers with Precious Stones and Metals make on average?

Median pay:

  • $38,200 Annual Salary $18.37 per hour

Careers for Jewelers and Precious Stone and Metal Workers

  • Appraisers, jewelry
  • Bench jewelers
  • Diamond graders
  • Polishers for diamond
  • Diamond setters
  • Engravers 
  • Facetors
  • Gem cutters
  • Goldsmiths
  • Appraisers of jewelry
  • Jewelry designers
  • jewelry repairers 
  • Jewelsmiths
  • Lapidarists
  • Mold and model makers
  • Pewterers
  • Polishers
  • Work with precious stones and metals
  • Jewelers who make things
  • Silversmiths

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Mambwe Abebe